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Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu

4.6
#13 of 35 in Sightseeing in Honolulu
Garden Educational Site
The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a 200acre arboretum and botanical garden managed by the University of Hawaii at Mānoa located at the upper end of Mānoa Valley in Hawaii.Much of the Arboretum's botanical collection consists of an artificial lowland tropical rainforest with numerous trails and small water features.HistoryThe Manoa Arboretum was established in 1918 by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association to demonstrate watershed restoration and test various tree species for reforestation, as well as collect living plants of economic value. The original director of the arboretum was Dr. Harold L. Lyon, a botanist from Minnesota who was plant pathologist for the HSPA. During his tenure, Lyon planted nearly 2,000 species of trees on the site.In 1953, at Lyon's urging, the HSPA conveyed the arboretum site to the University of Hawaii, with the stipulation that the site continue to be used as an arboretum and botanical garden in perpetuity. After Lyon's death in 1957, the arboretum was renamed in his honor.Today, the Arboretum continues to develop its extensive tropical plant collection, while emphasizing native Hawaiian plants, such as Pritchardia spp. (palms). Its over 15,000 accessions focus primarily on the monocot families of palms, gingers, heliconias, bromeliads, and aroids. Native and Polynesian cultivated and wild species are displayed in the ethnobotanical, native ecosystems, and Hawaiian sections of the gardens. The Lyon Arboretum also maintains an active seed bank.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
327 reviews
Google
4.5
  • The arboretum is at the end of the valley in Manoa. The people working with the facility are very knowledgable and helpful. If you would like to get out at walk, go for it. Be sure to take bug repella...  more »
  • Visited this arboretum probably 7 years ago but had only viewed the beautiful gardens opposite the visitors center and parking lot. This time I loved the Native Hawaiian garden and did the short hike ...  more »
  • This, in my opinion, is better than Manoa Falls. You'll see the same beautiful rain forest, have the opportunity to hike some trails with multiple difficulty levels, see a waterfall (although not as l...  more »
Google
  • Ideal place to view as many tropical flowers, trees, plants. Hiking is a must to appreciate everything this place has to offer. I prefer to observe nature from various angles so I was not able to view them all in the 3 hour time slot. If given another chance, I will stay longer. Camera is must to relive your experience once you depart.
  • Visited this arboretum probably 7 years ago but had only viewed the beautiful gardens opposite the visitors center and parking lot. This time I loved the native Hawaiian garden and did the short hike to the waterfall (water trickle) twice! Went with a friend who carried her 7 month old baby (main trail is gravel path and rocks, not paved for strollers), and another friend with a knee injury but the terrain was ok as long as she watched out for slippery rocks and tree roots. Nice balance of manicured and natural growth areas. Make a donation at the visitors center and leave time at the end of your visit to shop!! Thankfully didn't need the umbrella we borrowed, but there were some at the visitors center they loan out just in case! Clean restrooms a plus! Definitely kid-friendly and will bring my own kids the next time!!
  • A wonderful place for those interested in hiking & botanical wonders. Make sure you use mosquito repellent, even if you have to pay for the sheets when you sign in at the office or you will regret it! I always spend at least 2 hours here. It is also great for photography.
  • It's definitely worth a visit. It's easy to get lost on the poorly marked trails though. There are tours. I think I'll take one next time.
  • This place stunned me. Manoa was fine but hiking through this place was better. Get off the trail for some true photo-worthy views and learn about the beautiful plants and their uses.

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